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I'm sure everyone has experienced going from a well lit room into a dark room, you can barely see a thing so you have to wait for eyes to adjust before moving around, I find especially when getting up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night this is most inconvenient.

How can I better prepare my eyes for entering a dark room so I can see without having to wait for them to adjust?

Methods I have tried:

  • Not turning lights on when going to the toilet - can cause messy issues...
  • Turning my light on upon returning to my room - have to get up to turn it off either way so it's pointless.
  • Eating many many carrots - no noticeable improvement.
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  • I don't know if it could lead to it, but when you mentioned eating many many carrots, be aware that there is something called hypervitaminosis A. I've asked many medical doctors about hypervitaminosis A, and not a single one had any education or knowledge on the topic. Feb 15, 2023 at 14:19
  • Eating carrots was a wartime propaganda exercise, because carrots weren't rationed. Eating carrots will have no effect.
    – Chenmunka
    Feb 16, 2023 at 9:25
  • Carrot propaganda was also a cover story to explain British success in shooting down enemy bombers, and deflect attention from the highly-secret Airborne Interception Radar.
    – gidds
    Feb 25, 2023 at 21:14

5 Answers 5

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I use only one eye.

I get up, walk to the bathroom, close an eye, turn on the light, and switch eyes when the lights are off and I am walking back to my room. I read this somewhere (I think a magazine), I didn't make it up :)

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  • 6
    I've seen it claimed that this was the main reason pirates wore eye patches, so they could use one eye for on deck, one for below. (note: I am not a citable reference)
    – TIO Begs
    Mar 15, 2015 at 16:30
  • haha! never knew that, mental floss (probably not the best source) agrees: mental floss Mar 15, 2015 at 16:32
  • I used this trick daily when I had to make formula and feed my baby girl at night -- you definitely want light in the kitchen to make the bottle but no light in the bedroom so as not to wake daughter #2 or the wife.
    – arne
    Feb 16, 2023 at 14:19
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Put your hands in front of your eyes before going in the dark room. Your eyes will adjust much faster because it is darker than in the room.

Or maybe try a flashlight with red light; eyes don't react to red light, so they don't need to adjust, but you can see everything.

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    +1. Red light is on the lower end of the spectrum and doesn't 'hurt' as much as bright light. Blue light is pretty much the opposite.
    – Mast
    Mar 17, 2015 at 13:49
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You can use infrared camera (like Flir One) to see in the dark. Even at night in complete darkness.

If you're more interested to find the way to the toilet in the dark, you may install use Plug-in LED Night Light (e.g. mood lamps or LED stair lighting with motion sensor night).

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This is why I keep a small flashlight on my nightstand.

Alternatively consider installing a small stick on push button light either in the bathroom (near the toilet) or your bedroom to provide just enough light to see what you're doing, or a plugin nightlight or two.

If your bathroom has more than one light (and separate switches), like a light for the shower, and the main light, and maybe even a vanity (mirror) light, take some time to experiment with which light is dimmer at night and turn only that light when you go into the bathroom. My bathroom has separate lights for the shower and the main light, and the shower light is much dimmer, so if I don't take my flashlight in the middle of the night I just turn on the shower light. This way I don't ruin my night vision.

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I use the light on my phone...and I don't mean the camera flash as a flashlight, I simply mean hit any key on my phone to have the screen light up in response. This often adds enough light in the room so I don't bump my knee or leg on an obstacle, an doesn't become too bright forcing my eyes to adjust and "wake me up more"

I have also simply stood for a moment or two in the dark room and tried to focus on an object at the other side of the room. and then focus on an object very close. This distant focusing seems to "warm up" the eyes relatively quickly and allows the organ to let in as much light as possible to try and see the different ranges in the room.

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